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The Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Winter

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Often people think spring is the best season for selling a house or even summer, but actually, you can sell a house any time of year. Selling your home during the winter may have its drawbacks, but it also has its advantages.

Pros of Selling

Pro #1: Serious Buyers

The large flow of buyer traffic in the spring and summer consists of many window shoppers – people who are getting a feel for the home market, browsing home types, and decorating ideas. In winter, buyers tend to be more serious. If they make appointments to view the home during what is perhaps the busiest time of year, when daylight hours are short, that shows promise.

Pro #2: Less Competition

With so many sellers thinking spring and summer are the best seasons to list a home, you have less competition during the winter holidays. Less competition means you get more showings and interest from serious buyers.

Pro #3: Enjoy a Quick Closing

Buyers who shop in November and December are highly motivated to make a deal and close before the New Year so they can enjoy tax benefits, including deductions from their mortgage interest and property taxes. Other times, if a buyer is relocating, they want to buy fast to get the most out of their corporate relocation package.

Cons of Selling

Con #1: Less Than Ideal Weather

Cold, wet, maybe even icy or lots of snow, winter has the weather that bribes folks to stay indoors. Buyers are less eager to drive out to look at homes in winter. Road conditions can be hazardous, and after Daylight Savings Time, you lose two to three hours for showing your home. Also, your winter-stricken yard loses its curb appeal with bare trees, less greenery, and a blanket of white.

Con #2: Buyers Have Other Financial Obligations

Winter holidays are a busy and expensive time of year. First comes Thanksgiving, and then it is Christmas or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Buyers may have their money tied up in other things, like holiday gifts, food, and travel.

Con #3: Showings Take Effort

You have to keep your home neat and tidy during showings, and this can become more taxing during the winter holidays. You have to be light on holiday decorations so as not to overwhelm or clutter the living spaces. If family is visiting, you have to constantly clean up after them and try to get them out of the house for showings. You might be skittish about leaving out presents and constantly hide them in closets during showings and pull them back out after buyers leave.

If you want to sell your home fast for a cash offer and enjoy the winter holidays, consider selling to an investor. Investors do not mind cold weather, holiday decorations, or crowded homes. You can enjoy a quick closing and get back to what really matters during the holidays.

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How to Decorate for Christmas When Your House is for Sale

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No one wants to be a Scrooge, but if you want to sell a home during the holidays, you have to be careful about spreading holiday cheer throughout the house. This is not to say you absolutely cannot decorate for Christmas; lights and merry colors can make a home feel warm and inviting to buyers. However, too much mirth can crowd and even disorient buyers when they try to imagine themselves in the house. Here are some ways you can decorate your home for the holidays without jeopardizing your chances of selling.

Keep it secular.

You can have the manger scene, a menorah, or kinara out for personal celebrations, but be aware that a buyer may have different beliefs. For this reason, we recommend you put such symbols away during showings. We understand that it can be sensitive for you as well, and the choice to put these decorations out of sight is optional; however, consider the urgency to sell your home when making your decision.

Depersonalize decorations.

To help buyers envision themselves in your home, avoid putting out greeting cards, family photos, and family-sentiment items like “Best Grandma” tree ornaments. Your home will soon be someone else’s home, and putting out these personal tokens can upstage the buyer’s vision of them living there.

Appreciate classic decorations.

A simply decorated Christmas tree, a holly wreath on the front door, or a mantelpiece with ivy and candles are all elegant accents that pleasantly warm the home atmosphere but do not distract or overwhelm buyers.

Avoid too many lights.

Opt-out of colorful, flashing lights on the front lawn, and nix the inflatable Santa, snowmen, and reindeer. Too much merry can be tacky when selling a home. Instead, simple white string lighting can highlight the home’s architecture and draw eyes to attractive greenery.

Match the colors.

Make sure your decorations match the color scheme of your rooms. If the living room walls are a soothing blue, choose snowflakes and silver accents over clashing reds. If the dining room has an earthy tone, put out forest greens and golds. Contrasting colors disorient and put off buyer minds.

Clear the stage.

Staging a home is a delicate practice, and if rooms are already cluttered, adding Christmas ornaments will not improve the look and feel of a space. Look at showcase examples, model home photos, and clean up your home. Once the room is clear of distractions, you can add delightful holiday accents to cheer up these spaces.

If you have already decked the halls and do not want to take things down, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer without paying mind to your displays of holiday cheer. Enjoy your traditional holiday flair as well as the joy of a merry sale and quick closing.

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Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

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The thought of selling a home over the holidays can be intimidating. ‘Tis the season for other things – fun, family moments, wholesome meals, and gift-giving. The greatest gift right now would be to offload your home and fetch a merry price for it. These five tips on preparing your home to sell it during the holidays (or low season) are our small gift to you.

Tip 1: Deck the halls, but not too much

Too much clutter and sparkle is visually overwhelming. Too large or too many decorations can make rooms busy, crowded, and distract eyes. Also, remember that buyers want to envision their own furniture and belongings in these rooms, and so many loud, bright decorations can dominate the scene. Keep it simple.

Tip 2: Maintain curb appeal

The outside of a home is just as important as the inside. During the fall, trees drop their leaves, and bare trees expose more of the home. Spruce up the yard – rake leaves, trim grass and bushes, but also clean gutters, touch up paint, power wash the driveway, and keep all foot surfaces free of ice or snow to prevent slipping hazards.

Tip 3: Take quality pictures

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Start with the outside: a barren or snow-covered landscape does not (typically) sell well. If possible, take exterior photos a month or two before the autumn season, and make sure the curb appeal attracts. Outdoor features, like a swimming pool or hot tub, also look better in the summertime. Interior photos should show clean, showcase-worthy rooms, preferably without seasonal decorations.

Tip 4: Winterize the home

Seasonal maintenance is always a good idea, whether you presently live in the home or leave it vacant till it sells. Essential steps, like inspecting the furnace and protecting against frozen pipes, keep the home functioning through the cold season, so neither you nor future buyers have to worry about related repairs.

Tip 5: Make it cozy

The weather outside is frightful, so make your home delightful. During showings, turn up the heat, light a fire in the fireplace, play soft classical music, and offer homemade goodies or a steamy mug of hot chocolate or hot apple cider. The more comfortable buyers feel in your home, the longer they will stay to look around.

 

If you are short on time and want to enjoy the holidays, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a property as-is, be it old, outdated, or a fixer-upper. This saves you the hassle of buyer negotiations, home repairs, and uncertain financing, and instead, you enjoy a sure deal backed by a quick closing. Cheers to you!